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National Theatre


Address: 118 Monroe St
City: Detroit State: MI Zip: Phone:  
County: Wayne
Notes: AKA: Palace
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Open: 1911 Closed: 1975 Capacity: 2250    
Owner: Unknown
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 4773
 
 

7/5/2006 - Sean Fitzgerald
I went downtown the other day, and this theatre looks like its being worked on. Looks very clean and had a scafold in front with fresh trapping. it looks like someone figured out, hey this place is really cool, we should fix it, I hope. Downtown Detroit is freaking gorgeous. I sat outside across from the theatre , and theres a little cafe built right into Campus Martus, The park and the cafe have free wireless internet and a small stage for performers and a grassy area where the audience sits, set into the ground bordered in stone.

this little park used to be a wino and pigeon infested dump where you felt uncomfortable, but now has chairs and umbrellas and wireless internet. Not that I have a grudge against winos, theres still a couple and that is part of a citys character, but a city has to have non winos in its parks too. It still has the feel of Detroit but is clean and user happy.

3/2/2006 - Sean Fitzgerald
This would make a great concert theatre for Acoustic music.
2/28/2006 - John Kocsis
I was in this theatre in the 1960s when it was a live burlesque with orchestra. Frank Loessers last musical, Pleasures and Palaces (around 1965), closed after a run at the Fisher Theatre and never got to Broadway. The beautiful imperial Russian sets from Pleasures ended up on the stage of the National Burlesque.

to great effect. A great little theatre, even at the end.
1/15/2004 - Cinema Treasures
The National was opened in 1911 as a vaudeville house, and designed by Albert Kahn in a beautiful Art Nouveau style with Egyptian elements. The polychrome terra cotta facade is its most spectacular feature, with a large arched window, resembling a triumphal arch, and two minarets on either side, once topped by gilded domes. Floral and other nature-based terra cotta decor, including stylized scarab beetles, also graced the facade. The interior could originally seat over 2200, and featured a large stage and simple but graceful decor. Within a few years of its opening, it switched from vaudeville to movies, and by the 40s and 50s, had become a burlesque house.

In the 60s, it received a new name, the Palace, and operated as an adult film venue. It was closed in 1975. Since its closing, the National, like so many of Detroit's old movie houses, has fallen into serious disrepair, both inside and out. Its facade still looks majestic, though, despite its boarded-up entrance and decrepit marquee.

In 1998, a preservation-minded group called Cityscape Detroit went into the National to clean it up. There was consideration at the time of possibly renovating the long-vacant theater. Cinema Treasures Link.
12/19/2003 - Box Office Magazine
September 1959 - Jim Bennett, manager of the National Theatre, can recount the history of the show business here in great detail. His first Detroit show job was at the Family Theatre in 1910.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - James Cunnigham, National operator, has moved to the Colonial, while Edward Waddell, formerly of the now-closed Warfield, and Robert Siemer of the Highland Park have joined the National booth staff.
National Theatre - FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
FROM AMERICAN CLASSIC IMAGES
National Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
National Theatre - RECENT PHOTO
RECENT PHOTO
National Theatre - RECENT PHOTO
RECENT PHOTO
National Theatre - RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
National Theatre - RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
National Theatre - RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
National Theatre - RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
National Theatre - RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
RECENT INTERIOR SHOT
National Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
National Theatre - OLD PHOTO FROM DETROITYES
OLD PHOTO FROM DETROITYES
National Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
National Theatre - OLD AD
OLD AD
National Theatre - OLD AD
OLD AD

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